Monday 26th November
“I once was lost but now I’m found” (Amazing Grace – John Newton: 1779)
In continuing with the theme of being lost and found Jesus explains this simple parable to again emphasise the Father’s heart for the lost being found. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus uses three separate parables to share His heart for the lost?
In verses 8-10 Jesus uses the story of a woman who has lost 1 of her 10 coins. She sweeps the house and turns it upside down to find that precious coin and when she eventually finds she is overjoyed. She is so joyful in her finding this coin that she invites her friends over to join with her in her celebrations. Jesus concludes this parable with the same imagery as found in the previous parable of the lost shepherd. He relays the great joy in Heaven and among the angels at a person, repenting and finding salvation.
Jesus understood the value a denarius/drachma would have had in an Ancient Israeli society. It was equivalent to a day’s wages. Her total wealth was 10 coins, which would have equated to 10 days labour. She most probably did not have a great amount of wealth, which is shown through the desperation in finding this 1 lost coin.
Houses in Jesus’ time would have been dusty and dirty and when something was lost such as a small coin it would have proved very difficult to find. There were not usually many windows in the house so Jesus reminds His listeners that in order to find something that was lost, one would have also had to light a lamp to aid them. All this highlights to the crowd how hard it would have been to find this coin and the great lengths and efforts she puts it to find it.
If the woman represents God and the coin humanity/us, then we can understand the great extents Jesus went through for us; that we may be found and recognised as sons and daughters of the Most High God. Our lives without Christ are so far from Gods original plan for humanity. We are dirty and are hidden by the darkness in our hearts. We hide in the corners of society, living our lives constantly running away from God and sometimes even doing this unconsciously and in ignorance. In John’s gospel (1:5), he describes Jesus as a great light exposing the darkness. Jesus’ mission as we talked about in the last devotional was to seek and save the lost. In doing this He exposed the darkness and brought what was in the dark, to the light.
That is why there is such jubilation at one soul repenting (action is needed on our behalf too) and coming into Salvation. That is Jesus’ mission being completed on this earth. The light shining in dark places, exposing what it is evil and allowing what was once in that darkness to be found. Praise God that He never gives up on us and that His omnipotence shines through our secret places.